All Things Press Release Podcast: How to Write a Good Headline

July 14, 2009

Today the All Things Press Release podcast is addressing the question:  How to Write a Good Headline?

Headlines have always been important in drawing readers into your press release but with today’s nanosecond attention spans, they matter even more.   Write a crummy headline and your press release sits;  craft a dandy, and you draw readers in, increasing chances of engagement.

The three-minute podcast, a production of Business Wire, aims to help  communicators large and small get the most out of press release efforts.  Tips, how-tos and guidance based on experience will be served up courtesy of Business Wire staff and outside counsel alike.

How To Write A Good Headline is featured in the All Things Press Release podcast, below:


Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.  Email or connect with us on Twitter at

All Things Press Release Podcast: When’s the Best Time to Send A Press Release?

July 13, 2009

 “All Things Press Release,” a podcast about, well, all things press release, launches this month with three-minute-or-less podcasts that  address the most frequently asked questions posed to Business Wire editors and account staff.

The podcast, a production of Business Wire, aims to help  communicators large and small get the most out of press release efforts.  Tips, how-tos and guidance based on experience will be served up courtesy of Business Wire staff and outside counsel alike.

When’s the Best Time to Send a Press Release?  debuts the series, below.

Like what you hear?  Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

Have ideas for a future podcast?  Please let us know.  Email or connect with us on Twitter at

Press Release Case Study #2: Heinz Launches MyHeinz Personalized Ketchup With Pittsburgh Steelers Tie-In

July 13, 2009

Latching on to a timely news hook is a great way to turn an ordinary story powered by a press release into online traction and product sales.  Heinz North America played that move brilliantly in the following press release case study highlighted at a recent Business Wire webinar.

Heinz aimed to promote MyHeinz, a custom ketchup site where one can create mini ketchup bottles with personalized labels.  Want  John & Amy’s Ketchup on the table at your third wedding anniversary barbecue?  Well is where you make it happen.


How to get the word out?  Heinz, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,  waited for a timely news cue:  the Pittsburgh Steelers’ recent sixth Super Bowl win.  Oh and did I mention these custom commemorative ketchups come in six- packs?  Six for six–get it?  The adorable Steelers “six packs” of ketchup feature each of the storied team’s six Super Bowl Wins.

The press release announced the availability of the Steeler’s commemorative pack (they’re still available, by the way, if you want one) and added the product photo (above) to attract more attention.   They also included links to the MyHeinz webpage.  The release ran on Business Wire’s National circuit with an additional EON: Enhanced Online News posting.

The result?  Heinz saw an extra 20,000 visitors to their site and 5,000 six-packs sold–@ $36 a pop!

“We received a significant influx of traffic to the web site as a direct result of the press release distribution…and had direct pick-up of the release on key news sites that directly target our consumers,”  said Tracy Parsons,   Heinz North America Manager, Public Relations.

Lesson learned:  A timely news hook and a great photo can get you on the radar screen of consumers and result in online sales.

To watch the entire press release case studies webinar, check out the archived event.

Do you have an impressive press release case study that involves Business Wire services? Email

Upcoming Business Wire Events – July 8 Edition

July 8, 2009


Join Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Communicating Through Social Media: How to Build Relationships to Reach Your Audience

Hosted by Business Wire Los Angeles

With the popularity of social network sites and technology becoming more portable, flexible and available in today’s world, we are reminded of the importance of new media every day. Join Business Wire LA for a panel discussion on how companies can effectively use new and social media tools to connect with their clients in new and engaging ways. What should companies be using and why? What are the new tools and platforms that are making their way into the spotlight? How have these tools impacted traditional media? Karen Kovacs North, Director of the Annenberg Program on Online Communities at the University of Southern California, will moderate a panel of experts in emerging media, including Siobhan O’Neill, Account Supervisor, Edelman Digital; Nick Mendoza, Senior Account Supervisor, Zeno Group; Nicole Jordan, Director, Integrated Communications, Rubicon Project; and social media blogger Julia Scott. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, July 16 at 8am PST
The Olympic Collection Center
11301 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
To register: Please RSVP to Garrett Henricksen at or call 310-820-9473.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents

Business Wire and Bloomberg Toronto Host Talk with Bureau Chief David Scanlan

July 7, 2009


torontosky2On June 25th, Business Wire Toronto hosted a seminar at Bloomberg’s Toronto office—home to a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline—where Bloomberg Bureau Chief David Scanlan spoke to a crowd of more than 30 of Toronto’s top-tier PR and IR professionals about how to craft an effective press release.

David’s talk focused on five “F” factors that increase the likelihood of press releases being noticed by Bloomberg’s reporters.

  1. First Word: Bloomberg prides itself on being a high-caliber new service. Help their reporters to be the first ones to get your news out by writing a factual, concise release.
  2. Fastest Word: When you or your client has company news, get it out to the media as soon as possible.
  3. Factual Word: This one speaks for itself, but David encourages total transparency, too.
  4. Future Word: Get the word out of what’s in the pipeline and include date and time of your next financials, upcoming events, etc. Reporters love this!
  5. Final Word: Make sure your release is thorough. Don’t leave anything out or any unanswered questions.

Additionally, David passed along a few extra special tips to the group:bloombergtoronto

  • Use charts and use them as close to the top of your release as possible, especially when it comes to financials. All reporters want to know if your profits are up or down, by what percentage over the previous year and why.
  • Distinguish between U.S. and Canadian currency. Don’t assume it’s obvious, it’s always better to be clear.
  • And finally, write your release like you were talking to someone on the street about it. “Hey, you’re never going to believe what happened…”

Our thanks again to David and the Bloomberg Toronto office for a great event!

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll: News Release or Press Release?

July 1, 2009

News release or press release?  Results are in for this month’s Business Wire PR Peeps Poll:  56% of 370 polled preferred “press release” while 44% chose “news release.”

Discussion has surfaced lately regarding the preferred usage of these two seemingly interchangeable phrases.  “Press” release has history on its side, with its tenure as one of the most basic public relations tools on the planet–not to mention being written into the constitution as freedom of the “press.”    Also, don’t forget that the press release celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006, with nostalgic tributes to Ivy Lee, PT Barnum and others.

As for “news release,” an implied superiority abounds for its usage–as if “the press” in the age of user generated content is an institution to be dismissed.


Funny that we at Business Wire for years adamantly touted ourselves as a “news release wire service” but when we started to do search engine marketing noted that “press release” is searched ten times more frequently, on average, than the the phrase “news release.”  Now we are as likely to use press release as news release in marketing, presentations and elsewhere.

Old habits die hard, I suppose. Even those who propose to “reinvent” the already interactive press release of today as the “social media press release” seem to prefer “press” to “news.”  Would love to hear what psychologists, linguists and behavioral marketers think about what all this means.

Here’s the details from our 370 respondents, culled from Twitter and our weekly webinar polls.

Business Wire PR Peeps Poll for June 2009: News Release or Press Release, which do you choose?

  • 163 preferred news release-44.05%
  • 207 preferred press release-55.95%

To those who participated, thanks for taking the poll.  How about helping with the Business Wire PR Peeps July poll? Advertising Equivalencies — do you or have you used them to justify PR efforts?

370 respondents via Twitter and Business Wire webinar polls.  Poll conducted  June 1 – 30, 2009.


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